HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings
1. Seffner Christian (19-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Wesley Chapel, Thursday at Brooks DeBartolo, Friday-Saturday at Battle of the Bay tournament
Scoop: The Crusaders just completed their fifth straight undefeated district slate — Seffner Christian hasn’t lost a district game since Dec. 12, 2010 — and they’ll have another tough competitor in the Phoenix this week before heading into the Class 3A-7 tournament.
2. Academy at the Lakes (18-2)
This week: Wednesday vs. Mitchell, Friday vs. Bayshore Christian, Saturday at Apopka
Scoop: The Wildcats have a potentially challenging week. Mitchell is no pushover and Bayshore Christian is a tough district opponent. AATL, however, has won 12 straight games and should take momentum into next week’s district tournament.
3. Clearwater (18-2)
This week: Wednesday vs. Academy of the Holy Names
Scoop: The Tornadoes went 10-0 in Class 6A, District 9 and are the clear favorites in next week’s district tournament. Clearwater has a up-tempo offense, but its defense has played well also. The Tornadoes have given up only 25 points per game against district opponents.
4. Wiregrass Ranch (20-2)
This week: Wednesday vs. Land O’Lakes, Thursday vs. Wesley Chapel, Friday vs. Pasco
Scoop: The Bulls have won five straight since an overtime loss to Palm Beach Gardens during the winter break. Trakyra Kidd has paced the team with 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and has a chance to reach the 1,000-point milestone this week against the Gators.
5. Strawberry Crest (20-0)
This week: Wednesday at Hillsborough
Scoop: The Chargers are one victory from their first undefeated regular season, and the Matthews’ twins should help them complete it. Ayanna and Briana continue to lead the way, averaging 14.3 and 14.8 points, respectively.
6. Calvary Christian (15-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Palm Harbor University, Friday vs. Leesburg (Battle of the Bay tournament)
Scoop: The Warriors should be back to full strength with Savannah Plentovich (concussion symptoms) returning to the lineup. Senior Jenny Bollinger surpassed 1,000 points for her career last week. Calvary will have one more tough test at the Battle of the Bay tournament at Freedom before playing in the district tournament.
7. Palm Harbor University (18-3)
This week: Monday vs. Brooks DeBartolo, Tuesday at Calvary Christian, Friday at Lakewood (PCAC championship), Saturday at Freedom (Battle of the Bay tournament)
Scoop: PHU coach Darian Dublin said he likes to give his team good competition before playing in the district tournament, and the Hurricanes sure have a tough week ahead. PHU asked to play Brooks DeBartolo on Monday at the IRC shootout, then follow that with three tough games. They should be ready for districts when this week ends.
8. Brooks DeBartolo (20-4)
This week: Monday vs. Palm Harbor University, Thursday vs. Seffner Christian
Scoop: The Phoenix close out their regular season with two of its toughest opponents of the season. Brooks DeBartolo will look to extend its six-game winning streak, a mark it’s hit by holding opponents to an average of 42 points per game.
9. Plant (17-5)
This week: Wednesday at Robinson, Friday vs. Hillsborough
Scoop: Plant rebounded from a tough stretch with a pair of commanding wins in which the Panthers held Leto and Steinbrenner to fewer than 30 points. Plant has a chance to end the regular season on a high note before a tough, eight-team district tournament.
10. Indian Rocks Christian (16-5)
This week: Monday vs. Robinson, Friday at Academy of the Holy Names
Scoop: The Golden Eagles have played much better in the second half of the season. Aside from Autumn Frost, who averages 16 points per game, Kyra Champagne (9.3), Cassy Bonsall (7.9) and Annah Devries (7.0) have also contributed this season.
11. Lakewood (15-7)
This week: Wednesday vs. St. Petersburg, Friday vs. Palm Harbor University (PCAC championship)
Scoop: The Spartans are the clear No. 2 team behind Bradenton Southeast in Class 5A, District 11. While they are not the same team since Siyana Allen went down in the first game with a knee injury, the Spartans are still the top team in the PCAC south and will play PHU for the championship.
12. Academy of the Holy Names (14-8)
This week: Wednesday at Clearwater, Friday vs. Indian Rocks Christian
Scoop: The Jaguars have been playing tough defense lately, holding their past three opponents to an average of 25 points per game. Time will tell if that defense can hold up in their final regular-season games against two of the better teams in Tampa Bay.
13. Tampa Catholic (12-10)
This week: Monday vs. Mary Louis Academy (New York), Saturday vs. Tampa Bay Tech (Battle of the Bay tournament)
Scoop: Tampa Catholic may be riding a three-game losing streak, but the Crusaders are playing some of best teams in the area — and the country. Last week they lost to National Christian Academy, an undefeated, top-25 team in the nation.
14. Durant (13-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Ada (Okla.), Wednesday at Freedom, Friday at Middleton
Scoop: The Cougars have a busy week, playing an out-of-state opponent and a Freedom team that appears to have found its stride. Three Cougars are putting up double-digit points per game, and Tamara Hanson is chipping in 9.7 rebounds.
15. Newsome (14-5)
This week: Wednesday vs. Bloomingdale, Friday vs. East Bay
Scoop: The Wolves have yet to lose in 2016, with their last loss coming to Academy at the Lakes on Dec. 22. Since then, Newsome has held four of its past five opponents to fewer than 25 points per game.
16. Robinson (16-4)
This week: Monday at Indian Rocks Christian, Wednesday vs. Plant
Scoop: The Knights haven’t dropped a game since Nov. 20, 2015, and they completed an undefeated district slate last week with a win against Spoto. This week they’ll take on down-the-street rival Plant in hopes of keeping the streak alive.
17. Armwood (12-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Blake, Wednesday at East Bay, Friday at Freedom
Scoop: The Hawks are one of the hottest teams in the area, riding an eight-game win streak. They have a chance to add three more this week with the help of talented freshman Tanyia Gordon, who is averaging a team-high 15 points per game.
18. Sickles (13-11)
This week: Friday at Chamberlain
Scoop: Sickles has played tough opponents lately, and the Gryphons have held their own against district leaders Plant and Wiregrass Ranch. They’ll have a chance to do it again in next week’s district tournament, but first a regular-season finale against two-win Chamberlain.
19. Middleton (11-6)
This week: Wednesday vs. Leto, Friday vs. Durant
Scoop: Forward Sarah Moore is one of the best rebounders in Hillsborough County, recording 16.5 boards game while adding 18.4 points.
20. Land O’Lakes (11-9)
This week: Monday vs. Pasco, Wednesday at Wiregrass Ranch
Scoop: The Gators have lost three straight and don’t have an easy week ahead. Scoring is still a problem, which does not bode well for next week’s district tournament.
21. Bishop McLaughlin (12-8)
This week: Wednesday vs. Berkeley Prep
Scoop: The Hurricanes followed a big loss to Seffner Christian by beating Bell Creek Academy by 62 points. They are the No. 2 seed in the district behind the Crusaders, so the goal will be to reach the district final to ensure a region appearance.
22. Cambridge Christian (12-7)
This week: Tuesday vs. Shorecrest, Friday vs. Berkeley Prep
Scoop: The Lancers have already posted their best record in five seasons, and they have the opportunity to grab some momentum this week before heading into the district tournament. Cambridge is 2-6 in Class 3A-7 play, but after Seffner Christian, the second playoff spot could be anyone’s for the taking.
23. Springstead (13-6)
This week: Monday at Gulf, Wednesday at Central, Friday vs. Hernando
Scoop: The Eagles are hoping to rebound from a loss to Mitchell. Alyssa Clifton, Reagan Huden and Sarah Vo all average in double figures and will be relied on in the playoffs.
24. Northeast (15-7)
This week: Thursday at Tarpon Springs, Saturday vs. Bradenton Southeast
Scoop: The Vikings had an ugly loss to Osceola last week. It doesn’t get any easier with Southeast on Saturday. They must find some scoring before districts start.
25. Countryside (12-8)
This week: Tuesday vs. Largo, Wednesday at Tarpon Springs
Scoop: The Cougars do not have a taxing week leading up to the district tournament. November Morten is still playing well, with 15.3 points per game. If other scorers emerge, Countryside could make a run in the district tournament.
On the cusp: Osceola (8-6), Mitchell (12-10), Weeki Wachee (12-10), Plant City (9-7), Freedom (9-10), Steinbrenner (11-10)